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Volleyball Defense - 5 Great Tips for Reading the Hitter

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					Volleyball Defense - 5 Great Tips for Reading the Hitter
To play great defense you need the ability to read the
opponents attack and position yourself ready to dig or move
to play the ball.
Good defensive positioning heavily depends on the placement
of the set ball and the formation of the team block.
Here are 5 volleyball tips for making great defensive plays.
1. Watch Placement of the Set Ball
If the volleyball is set tight to the net, the defender
needs to be ready to play a ball that can be hit at a
downward angle into the court. The defender should also
watch the path of the ball to make sure the ball isn't
coming over the net. The worst thing that could happen is to
have the volleyball fall to the ground onto your team's side
of the court with nobody making a play on it.
2. Watch the Volleyball Hitter Approach
The defender should be aware of the direction the hitter is
approaching, the direction the hitter's shoulders are
squared up, the hitter's armswing, and where the hitter
contacts the ball. All these are factors influence where the
ball will be hit.
During the approach, notice the direction the hitter's
shoulders are facing. If the hitter is swinging, it is
likely they will hit the ball the direction they are facing.
Notice if the hitter is forced to speed up their approach or
take steps sideways due to a low or poor set. By noticing
these details of the hitter approach you are more likely to
anticipate where the ball will be hit.
3. Watch the Volleyball Hitter Armswing
Watch the hitter armswing and be ready not only for a hard
hit, but also an off-speed hit, roll shot, cut shot, or tip.
Often, if the set is too high the hitter will adjust their
approach. If the hitter adjusts their approach watch the
angle of the armswing. Often on high sets the hitter will
contact the ball back behind the head. If the contact is
made back behind the head be ready for a deep volleyball
hit. If the contact isn't solid, be ready for a short shot.
If the set is too low the hitter will often speed up their
approach and make contact with the ball out in front of the
body. Hitting the volleyball out in front of the body will
likely make the ball be hit more at a downward angle into
the court.
If the volleyball is set off the net, the defender should be
ready to move to play a much easier off-speed shot or tip.
4. Understand Your Volleyball Team Blocking Strategy
Before playing defense, you must communicate with your
blockers and devise a defensive strategy. Obviously,
whatever space your blockers don't take away with their
block, the defensive players on the court need to cover.
A basic blocking strategy is to have the blockers take away
the line and angle hit while the baseline defender covers
the middle baseline area. This is called playing base
defense. A more advanced defensive strategy involves the
baseline defender to rotate over to cover the hit down deep
line. This is called rotation defense. Rotation defense is
used primarily when the opponent has a really good line shot
that can't be defended by blockers.
Often holes appear in the block that can't be closed. As a
defender, help defend this area by lining up around the
block. It is likely your team defensive strategy will change
throughout a match as you discover the best way to defend
your opponent.
5. Be Ready to Defend the Volleyball Tip
Defenders should train to read hitters. Reading the hitter
is especially important for covering tipped balls. A hitter
may tip for many reasons. Usually a tip is done on a poorly
set ball. If the ball is hard for the hitter to get to, the
hitter may decide to tip the ball because tipping is a much
easier way to control the ball. For this reason, defenders
need to be ready to play tips on poorly set balls. Also, if
a hitter hasn't been hitting well they may decide to try the
tip shot. If a hitter doesn't take a full approach to hit,
this is usually a dead give away that a tip is coming.
Understanding these game situations allows you to be more
prepared and ready to anticipate your opponent to make great
volleyball defensive plays.
Dennis Jackson is a volleyball player, coach, and referee that provides
expert advice on all aspects of volleyball training. For more tips on
defense along with strength and conditioning, designing drills, executing
skills, and rule interpretations visit: http://www.strength-and-power-
for-volleyball.com

				
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posted:10/22/2010
language:English
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